Splash Brothers. KD. Three-pointers. That’s the triumvirate at the top of the Golden State Warriors’ reputation, seemingly putting lie to the old adage that defense wins championships. But it’s a front, really. Sure the Golden State offensive machine makes a Maserati look pokey, but the Warriors lock down on defense like few other teams. It helps the Warriors fulfill another old basketball adage: offense starts with defense — you need the ball to score.
The Cavaliers may enter from the supposedly grittier Eastern Conference, but in the last four years only LeBron James among the Cavs has been named to an NBA All-Defensive team. (James was on the Second Team in 2014 as a member of the Heat; hte year before he was First Team All Defense.) The Warriors’ Draymond Green has been named to the NBA All Defensive First Team the last two seasons (2015, 2016) and the year before that Andre Iguodala represented the Warriors on the NBA All Defensive First Team. With a General Defensive rating of 101.1, the Warriors edged the Cavs for the top spot this season.